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Youth leaders from across the world to meet in Belize

Belize will host the World Youth Conference in November of this year. The initiative is being spearheaded by the Department of Youth Services. It is expected that hundreds of young persons from around the globe will convene in Belize City for the event being held under the theme , “Globally running to 2030, becoming sustainably strong.” Dominique Noralez is the Head of the World Youth Conference Secretariat.

Dominique Noralez – Head, NYC Secretariat
“The World Youth Conference is essentially a meeting of youth leaders from across the world, with people coming from Ministries of Youth, National Youth Councils, Youth Parliaments from across the world every continent. Right now we have almost 700 applications from almost every corner of the world so it’s really a well-known conference. It’s a response to the 2014 conference held in Sri Lanka and the one held last year in New Delhi India which we had representation from with Ms.Daley, Ms.Butcher and Ms.Mckenzie and so in Belize we are trying to look at it in a new light where we incorporate the SDGs in the way of sustainability.”

Noralez said the objective of the gathering which is expected to see more than two hundred young persons attend, is three fold.

Dominique Noralez – Head, NYC Secretariat
“The first one being that it’s a huge networking opportunity for young people across the world to meet and really put resources together so as to not duplicate efforts. The other objective is our action plan, really including young people in the planning of achieving the SDGs and not just having us creating something and then ask them later about it, including young people from the beginning and the main document coming out of the conference is going to be the Mahogany Declaration. We included the Mahogany tree because we are Belizean and we saw huge symbolism in that. So the declaration will really talk about the recommitment of especially Belizean youth and youth from around the world especially from this side of the world because the conference is coming to the Western Hemisphere for the first time ever, so it’s also a unique opportunity to highlight the work of young people from this side of the world and not always from the eastern side of the world so those are the three main objectives coming out of the conference 2017.”

Youth leaders from across the country are being invited to register for the event. The sessions will look at four of the sustainable development goals.

Dominique Noralez – Head, NYC Secretariat
“Young people get the opportunity to apply for the session they most want to be in and that will be the session that they will be sitting in, drafting the action plan and the declaration. So, if I for example choose climate change and environmental action, I will be in that session for all the conference days and I will be contributing to that part of the action plan and operation. The other three parts are economic empowerment, wellbeing and humanity which is one and then social justice and equity, so those are the SDGs that we really are working on and the final SDG is Goal 17 and that is focused on partnerships.”

The initiative has the support of the office of the Music Ambassador. The theme song for the event, which features a number of noted Belizean musicians was also introduced. The deadline to register for the upcoming World Youth Conference is July 31.